For USC, filling the defensive line coaching job has been an arduous task. As of Wednesday night, head coach Steve Sarkisian has finally found his man for the job, according to Pete Roussel of CoachingSearch.com:
It looks like the third time is the charm indeed for the Trojans.
Sarkisian's struggles to fill the defensive line coach vacancy have been well-documented. He first wanted to bring on fabled recruiter and former Washington assistant coach Tosh Lupoi, but potential NCAA violations turned the Trojans off of him. Despite numerous rumors alluding to it, bringing beloved Trojan Ed Orgeron never turned out to be a viable option, either. Then there was Bo Davis, who held the position for six days before leaving for Tuscaloosa.
Wilson had been rumored as a target after Davis' departure, and according to Roussel from CoachingSearch.com, Wilson initially declined the offer:
In looking for a defensive line coach, Steve Sarkisian initially pursued Chris Wilson at Georgia, who declined. With Bo Davis off to Alabama, it will be interesting to see if Sark shifts running backs coach / special teams coordinator Johnny Nansen to defensive line.
Evidently, a lot has changed since that report.
Prior to coaching the Dawgs, Wilson was the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State for three years. With him at the helm, the Bulldogs averaged 2.5 sacks a game, ranking 28th nationally in that category, and logged an impressive 81 tackles for loss on the year. Before Mississippi State, Wilson spent time working with the defensive line and special teams for the Oklahoma Sooners.
Bringing Wilson on staff is incredibly important for Sarkisian for two reasons. First, the recruiting dead period ends on Thursday, and if USC wants to land the best D-line talent it can get, having a coach in place is paramount. Second—and arguably more importantly—like Orgeron before him, Wilson has a Southern pedigree that will pay dividends for USC down future recruiting trails.
USC is known to lure top talent out of the South, something that Orgeron and wide receivers coach Tee Martin have been maintaining over the past three seasons. With Wilson joining the staff, it means that the Trojans will be able to keep their presence in that hotbed of talent.
USC's new coaching staff is as follows:
|Head Coach||Steve Sarkisian|
|Offensive Coordinator||Clay Helton|
|Defensive Coordinator||Justin Wilcox|
|Offensive Line Coach||Tim Drevno|
|Running Backs Coach/Special Teams Coordinator||Johnny Nansen|
|Wide Receivers Coach||Tee Martin|
|Tight Ends Coach||Marques Tuiasosopo|
|Defensive Line Coach||Chris Wilson|
|Linebackers Coach||Peter Sirmon|
|Defensive Backs Coach||Keith Heyward|
Barring something crazy happening—and given how the offseason has been so far, anything can happen—Sarkisian's coaching staff is all set.